Hew announces incentives for electric and hybrid vehicles

To incentivise use of environmentally friendly transportation, customs duties have been reduced for electric and hybrid vehicles, as well as for bicycles.

Commerce Minister Joey Hew made the announcement Thursday before the Legislative Assembly.

Bicycles, electric motorcycles and electric bicycles will not incur any customs duties upon import.

Additionally, no duty will be imposed for the import of electric vehicles for personal use valued under $29,000. Hybrid vehicles for personal use, valued under $29,000, will have a duty of 10%.

Electric and hybrid vehicles of the same value will incur duties of 5% and 12%, respectively, when imported for commercial use.

Hew described the measures as incentives to encourage residents to switch to low-emissions vehicles, while reducing greenhouse gases and dependency on petroleum imports.

“The benefit of switching to energy-efficient transportation will not only be environmental but also economical. The Cayman Islands transportation sector is the second-largest energy consumer in the country, accounting for approximately 30 percent of imported fuels,” Hew told the Legislative Assembly.

“It is also the second-largest emitter of carbon dioxide. Cars and trucks make-up the majority of licensed vehicles, consuming mainly gasoline and diesel fuels. Preventive action must be taken to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels in this sector.”

Hew said such measures will aid Cayman in achieving the standards set out by the National Energy Policy, as well as meeting the aspirations of the Paris Accord.

The National Energy Policy sets the goal that 70% of Cayman’s electricity generation come from renewable sources by 2037. In addition, per capita greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 should not exceed the 2014 level.

“In 2014 it was estimated that diesel fire generation accounted for approximately 7.2 tonnes per capita, thus making it a clear imperative for the Cayman Islands to concentrate on the reduction of diesel fuel,” Hew said.

Other measures taken by government to meet the 2030 goals include installation of electric vehicle charging stations at town halls and civic centres, exploration of wind energy, review of duties for bulk importation of renewable energy systems, and review of building codes to allow implementation of renewable energy systems, Hew added.

“In the near future, we plan to look at developing incentive programmes for energy-efficient appliances and sustainable building materials,” Hew said.

“And in a case of leading by example, the Cayman Islands government’s plans for vehicle installation has begun with the rollout of charging infrastructure at the government administration building, all civic centres, libraries and other government buildings.”

To view the full breakdown of updated customs duties for electric and hybrid vehicles, visit the Ministry of Commerce Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ministryofcpi/.

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